Indigenous Studies

"All the Real Indians Died Off": And 20 Other Myths About Native Americans (Myths Made in America)

"All the Real Indians Died Off": And 20 Other Myths About Native Americans (Myths Made in America)

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Unpacks the twenty-one most common myths and misconceptions about Native Americans

In this enlightening book, scholars and activists Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and Dina Gilio-Whitaker tackle a wide range of myths about Native American culture and history that have misinformed generations. Tracing how these ideas evolved, and drawing from history, the authors disrupt long-held and enduring myths such as:

"Columbus Discovered America"
"Thanksgiving Proves the Indians Welcomed Pilgrims"
"Indians Were Savage and Warlike"
"Europeans Brought Civilization to Backward Indians"
"The United States Did Not Have a Policy of Genocide"
"Sports Mascots Honor Native Americans"
"Most Indians Are on Government Welfare"
"Indian Casinos Make Them All Rich"
"Indians Are Naturally Predisposed to Alcohol"

Each chapter deftly shows how these myths are rooted in the fears and prejudice of European settlers and in the larger political agendas of a settler state aimed at acquiring Indigenous land and tied to narratives of erasure and disappearance. Accessibly written and revelatory, "All the Real Indians Died Off" challenges readers to rethink what they have been taught about Native Americans and history.

All Our Relations: Native Struggles for Land and Life

All Our Relations: Native Struggles for Land and Life

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A beautiful and daring vision of political, spiritual, and ecological transformation.
Assembled for Use: Indigenous Compilation and the Archives of Early Native American Literatures

Assembled for Use: Indigenous Compilation and the Archives of Early Native American Literatures

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A wide-ranging, multidisciplinary look at Native American literature through non-narrative texts like lists, albums, recipes, and scrapbooks

"An intricate history of Native textual production, use, and circulation that reshapes how we think about relationships between Native materials and settler-colonial collections."--Rose Miron, D'Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies at the Newberry Library

Kelly Wisecup offers a sweeping account of early Native American literatures by examining Indigenous compilations: intentionally assembled texts that Native people made by juxtaposing and recontextualizing textual excerpts into new relations and meanings. Experiments in reading and recirculation, Indigenous compilations include Mohegan minister Samson Occom's medicinal recipes, the Ojibwe woman Charlotte Johnston's poetry scrapbooks, and Abenaki leader Joseph Laurent's vocabulary lists. Indigenous compilations proliferated in a period of colonial archive making, and Native writers used compilations to remake the very forms that defined their bodies, belongings, and words as ethnographic evidence. This study enables new understandings of canonical Native writers like William Apess, prominent settler collectors like Thomas Jefferson and Henry Rowe Schoolcraft, and Native people who contributed to compilations but remain absent from literary histories. Long before current conversations about decolonizing archives and museums, Native writers made and circulated compilations to critique colonial archives and foster relations within Indigenous communities.

Bowwow Powwow

Bowwow Powwow

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Windy Girl is blessed with a vivid imagination. From Uncle she gathers stories of long-ago traditions, about dances and sharing and gratitude. Windy can tell such stories herself–about her dog, Itchy Boy, and the way he dances to request a treat and how he wriggles with joy in response to, well, just about everything.

When Uncle and Windy Girl and Itchy Boy attend a powwow, Windy watches the dancers in their jingle dresses and listens to the singers. She eats tasty food and joins family and friends around the campfire. Later, Windy falls asleep under the stars. Now Uncle's stories inspire other visions in her head: a bowwow powwow, where all the dancers are dogs. In these magical scenes, Windy sees veterans in a Grand Entry, and a visiting drum group, and traditional dancers, grass dancers, and jingle-dress dancers–all with telltale ears and paws and tails. All celebrating in song and dance. All attesting to the wonder of the powwow.

This playful story by Brenda Child is accompanied by a companion retelling in Ojibwe by Gordon Jourdain and brought to life by Jonathan Thunder's vibrant dreamscapes. The result is a powwow tale for the ages.

Bury My Heart at Chuck E. Cheese's

Bury My Heart at Chuck E. Cheese's

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Bury My Heart at Chuck E. Cheese’s is a powerful and compelling collection of Tiffany Midge’s musings on life, politics, and identity as a Native woman in America. Artfully blending sly humor, social commentary, and meditations on love and loss, Midge weaves short, standalone musings into a memoir that stares down colonialism while chastising hipsters for abusing pumpkin spice. She explains why she doesn’t like pussy hats, mercilessly dismantles pretendians, and confesses her own struggles with white-bread privilege.

Midge ponders Standing Rock, feminism, and a tweeting president, all while exploring her own complex identity and the loss of her mother. Employing humor as an act of resistance, these slices of life and matchless takes on urban-indigenous identity disrupt the colonial narrative and provide commentary on popular culture, media, feminism, and the complications of identity, race, and politics.

Calling for a Blanket dance

Calling for a Blanket dance

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A moving and deeply engaging novel about a young Native American man as he learns to find strength in his familial identity. ​

Oscar Hokeah's electric debut takes us into the life of Ever Geimausaddle, whose family--part Mexican, part Native American--is determined to hold onto their community despite obstacles everywhere they turn. Ever's father is injured at the hands of corrupt police on the border when he goes to visit family in Mexico, while his mother struggles both to keep her job and care for her husband. And young Ever is lost and angry at all that he doesn't understand, at this world that seems to undermine his sense of safety. Ever's relatives all have ideas about who he is and who he should be. His Cherokee grandmother, knowing the importance of proximity, urges the family to move across Oklahoma to be near her, while his grandfather, watching their traditions slip away, tries to reunite Ever with his heritage through traditional gourd dances. Through it all, every relative wants the same: to remind Ever of the rich and supportive communities that surround him, there to hold him tight, and for Ever to learn to take the strength given to him to save not only himself but also the next generation.

How will this young man visualize a place for himself when the world hasn't made room for him to start with? Honest, heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting, Calling for a Blanket Dance is the story of how Ever Geimausaddle finds his way home.

"STUNNING." --Susan Power, author of The Grass Dancer

Carry: A Memoir of Survival on Stolen Land

Carry: A Memoir of Survival on Stolen Land

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NEW YORK TIMES EDITORS' CHOICE - A powerful, poetic memoir about what it means to exist as an Indigenous woman in America, told in snapshots of the author's encounters with gun violence.

Finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize - Goop Book Club Pick - "Essential . . . We need more voices like Toni Jensen's, more books like Carry."--Tommy Orange, New York Times bestselling author of There There

Toni Jensen grew up around guns: As a girl, she learned to shoot birds in rural Iowa with her father, a card-carrying member of the NRA. As an adult, she's had guns waved in her face near Standing Rock, and felt their silent threat on the concealed-carry campus where she teaches. And she has always known that in this she is not alone. As a Métis woman, she is no stranger to the violence enacted on the bodies of Indigenous women, on Indigenous land, and the ways it is hidden, ignored, forgotten.

In Carry, Jensen maps her personal experience onto the historical, exploring how history is lived in the body and redefining the language we use to speak about violence in America. In the title chapter, Jensen connects the trauma of school shootings with her own experiences of racism and sexual assault on college campuses. "The Worry Line" explores the gun and gang violence in her neighborhood the year her daughter was born. "At the Workshop" focuses on her graduate school years, during which a workshop classmate repeatedly killed off thinly veiled versions of her in his stories. In "Women in the Fracklands," Jensen takes the reader inside Standing Rock during the Dakota Access Pipeline protests and bears witness to the peril faced by women in regions overcome by the fracking boom.

In prose at once forensic and deeply emotional, Toni Jensen shows herself to be a brave new voice and a fearless witness to her own difficult history--as well as to the violent cultural landscape in which she finds her coordinates. With each chapter, Carry reminds us that surviving in one's country is not the same as surviving one's country.

Carving Out Rights from Inside the Prison Industrial Complex

Carving Out Rights from Inside the Prison Industrial Complex

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A bold statement for those living within the industrial prison complex, realized in block prints of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Inside prisons across the U.S., incarcerated
people struggle everyday for their basic rights, claiming again and
again their status as human beings. Here, within the largest democracy
in the world (conditional though it may be), incarcerated people suffer
indignities from terrible living conditions to physical and sexual
violence, all under the aegis of justice.


As a tool to discuss the limits and ideals of
human rights within a carceral state, artists at Stateville Prison, who
struggle daily for their own human rights, created block prints of each
article in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The process of
drawing, carving, and inking each print created the time and space for
artists to critique and reflect on the ways the declaration is
simultaneously aspirational, strategic, and fraught with the legacy of
the violence of its founding states. For universal human rights to be
relevant, it is essential that the most impacted people be heard and
their vision of human rights centered.


This book features the 30 brilliantly crafted
prints presented alongside the corresponding articles from the
declaration. The artists and authors ask essential questions of what it
means to build a culture of human rights from below rather than
institute rights from above. What happens when people denied their
rights, begin to reimagine and carve them out once again?


This project was inspired by Meredith Stern's
Universal Declaration of Human Rights print project and developed in a
class taught by Aaron Hughes through the Prison + Neighborhood
Arts/Education Project.

Cherokee Narratives: A Linguistic Study

Cherokee Narratives: A Linguistic Study

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The stories of the Cherokee people presented here capture in written form tales of history, myth, and legend for readers, speakers, and scholars of the Cherokee language. Assembled by noted authorities on Cherokee, this volume marks an unparalleled contribution to the linguistic analysis, understanding, and preservation of Cherokee language and culture.

Cherokee Narratives spans the spectrum of genres, including humor, religion, origin myths, trickster tales, historical accounts, and stories about the Eastern Cherokee language. These stories capture the voices of tribal elders and form a living record of the Cherokee Nation and Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians' oral tradition. Each narrative appears in four different formats: the first is interlinear, with each line shown in the Cherokee syllabary, a corresponding roman orthography, and a free English translation; the second format consists of a morpheme-by-morpheme analysis of each word; and the third and fourth formats present the entire narrative in the Cherokee syllabary and in a free English translation.

The narratives and their linguistic analysis are a rich source of information for those who wish to deepen their knowledge of the Cherokee syllabary, as well as for students of Cherokee history and culture. By enabling readers at all skill levels to use and reconstruct the Cherokee language, this collection of tales will sustain the life and promote the survival of Cherokee for generations to come.

Chicago's 50 Years of Powwows

Chicago's 50 Years of Powwows

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Since 1953, the American Indian Center of Chicago has hosted an annual powwow. The powwow is the centerpiece of contemporary Indian culture. It is how Native Americans celebrate traditional values and share their culture with a wider audience. The powwow is a place to make and rekindle friendships. It offers an opportunity to reaffirm traditional values and a chance to reconnect with family, friends, and the greater community. It is a celebration of artistic and cultural traditions, and a way of transmitting those traditions to a younger generation. Through an extensive collection of representative images, Chicago's 50 Years of Powwows chronicles the exciting history and traditions of the powwow.